Court to summon Ragos, reporters to testify on recantation
MANILA — The recantation of former Bureau of Corrections chief Rafael Ragos has finally been presented in court on Friday, as part of Ronnie Dayan’s testimony before a Muntinlupa court, according to the lawyer of detained former Senator Leila de Lima.
Dayan is De Lima’s former bodyguard and co-accused in the conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading case pending before the sala of Judge Abraham Joseph Alcantara of Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 204.
“Sa kanyang salaysay, nabanggit nya na merong salaysay si Rafael Ragos na binabawi yung salaysay laban sa kanya at ipinakita niya sa huwes yung salaysay ni Rafael Ragos at dahil dito, malamang mapatawag si Rafael Ragos bilang testigo ng mga akusado sa kasong ito,” De Lima’s lawyer, Boni Tacardon, told the media shortly after the hearing.
(In his testimony, he mentioned that Rafael Ragos has a statement recanting his testimony against him and he presented to the judge Ragos’ statement, which could lead to Rafael Ragos’ being summoned as witness for the accused in this case.)
Ragos, a former Bureau of Corrections chief, had claimed he personally delivered a total of P10 million to Dayan at De Lima’s house in Parañaque in November and December 2012, when she was still Justice secretary, supposedly as part of her share in the alleged illegal drug trade.
But in April this year, he executed an affidavit, in front of the media, taking back his claims against De Lima and Dayan.
He instead accused former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II of coercing him.
Aguirre has denied the allegation.
Ragos’ testimony was the basis for a Muntinlupa court, in February 2021, to deny De Lima’s and Dayan’s bid to junk the illegal drug charge against them due to insufficiency of evidence. Both were also denied bail.
But with the recantation, De Lima again asked the court the dismiss the case.
In Friday’s hearing, Tacardon said the judge has directed Dayan’s lawyer to file the necessary motion so that Ragos could testify in court.
Under the rules, the person who executed an affidavit needs to affirm the contents of the statement in court and be subjected to cross-examination before it can be considered as part of evidence.
Members of the media who witnessed Ragos execute his affidavit will also be summoned.
“Ang susunod na mangyayari base sa order ni judge, hiniling niya kay Atty. Haidee Soriano na magsumite ng motion para mapayagan si Rafael Ragos na tumestigo at kasama na rin tetestigo ay ilang miyembro ng media na nakapag-witness ng pinirmahan at inexecute ni Rafael Ragos yung affidavit of recantation,” he said.
“So ang lumabas kanina sa hearing, mukhang ipapa-subpoena si Henry Omaga-Diaz, si John Consulta at yung notaryo publiko na nagnotaryo ng affidavit of recantation ni Ragos,” he added.
Omaga-Diaz is a news anchor of ABS-CBN while Consulta is a reporter for GMA-7.